Human Rights

University dons urge Sri Lanka to dismantle all surveillance teams

Shocked by the wanton killing of two undergraduates by Sri Lanka police in the northern town of Jaffna, a group of university teachers around the country have called upon the government to dismantle all surveillance teams established during the war and disarm the police force.

As an initial step towards bringing all state security forces under democratic forms of governance, the signatories to a statement issued on 27 October has highlighted the need to demilitarise the north and the east in 'speedily and effectively'.

TID and CTA

"Such a process should fall within a broader process of demilitarization in the rest of the country and include the dismantling of all surveillance teams that had sprung up during the war, such as Terrorism Investigation Department (TID) and other agencies," says the statement.

The TID has been implicated in abductions and torture during the war and its aftermath by many organisations including the UN.

The university teachers have also expressed their strong opposition to the proposed Counter Terrorism Act  (CTA) that is on the pipeline to replace the draconian present Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA).

Police accountability

The proposed act has been described by many including the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) as a piece of legislation that has retained draconian and objectionable provisions in the PTA.

Condemning the police killing of the two Tamil undergraduates Wijayaraja Sulaxan and Nadarasa Gajan, the university teachers have said that the government 'should review and take steps to make the police accountable to the public for acts of violence and revoke the decision to arm the police.'

© JDS